No Ceiling

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Born in the Bronx to Iranian immigrant parents, Haale mixes her heritage on her debut full-length album No Ceiling. As a hybrid of Middle Eastern sounds and Western pop, the music inevitably calls to mind the efforts of others to mix those styles, such as the Velvet Underground, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Peter Gabriel. None of them, however, went quite as far as Haale, who, in addition to singing in English, also sets the poetry of Sufis such as Rumi to music. Her voice has some of the reedy quality of Janis Ian or Madonna as she sings over a combination of electric guitars and acoustic string instruments such as violin and cello. This creates an effect that is neither traditional Persian nor contemporary rock, but something in between, and that eclecticism may just make it exotic enough to sound new to rock fans, while giving fans of Middle Eastern music the sense that they are hearing an evolution of that genre.

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